Week in Review, May 13, 2014

CMS posts help for applicable manufacturers to prepare for Phase 2, Maine’s Pharmacy Board questions the validity of an Internet pharmacy, the OIG asks Boston Scientific about two of its products, and Brazil fines Eli Lilly for manufacturing violations.

We’re not sure how it happened, but somehow, nearly half the month of May has passed with us not realizing that this is Barbeque (or Barbecue if you prefer) Month. And if you thought (insert your favorite sports rivalry here) was a topic that could fire up a heated conversation, just mention proper barbecuing techniques. Pork versus beef, sauce versus no sauce (we won’t even open up the type of sauce can of worms), dry rub versus wet rub…it’s all a point of contention and fierce debate. So break out the brisket and make your plans to celebrate Barbecue/Barbeque Month while we fire up this week’s Compliance News in Review.

CMS is getting the coals all nice and hot for Phase 2 of the Open Payments data submission process. The agency announced that it will post a series of tutorials to help applicable manufacturers and GPOs prepare for Phase 2. The first of three tutorials is available now on the Open Payments website. CMS also announced that physicians and teaching hospitals will be able to register in CMS’ Enterprise Portal beginning June 1. Registration is not necessarily required for physicians or teaching hospitals, but it is needed if anyone from those institutions wants to see their Open Payments data.

The Maine Pharmacy Board is asking the Attorney General to apply some direct heat to an Internet pharmacy that has been advertising inexpensive drugs in the state. The president of Maine Pharmacy Association filed a complaint with the Board, saying the online drug seller wasn’t a licensed pharmacy. He says he ordered three medications from the company and all were made outside of Canada.

Is there a secret sauce for determining fair market value (FMV) rates in emerging markets? It certainly can get complicated in a constantly changing global economy. In an article for Policy and Medicine, Mario Prohasky, of Polaris, suggests companies should update their FMV rates when macroeconomic changes occur. For example, when an annual inflation rate exceeds 10% to 15%, or a local currency experiences a devaluation of 20% or more, a company should re-evaluate its FMV rates.

HHS is asking Boston Scientific to carve out a little information related to one of its products. In a regulatory filing, the company revealed that the OIG has asked for information regarding the 2008 launch of two of its defibrillators.

On the physician spend front, the total cost of payments to physicians and hospitals in Massachusetts dropped between 2011 and 2012. While recently released data shows a 12% drop in the total amount of payments, the number of payments actually increased. This can be credited to the change in the Massachusetts law that allows companies to provide modest meals. Spending on food (barbecue and otherwise) was up 65%.

Eli Lilly is disputing the ingredients it’s been accused of using at one of its manufacturing plants. The company was fined $450 million by a Brazilian court for allegedly exposing employees to hazardous materials at the plant. Lilly is appealing the decision, saying the chemicals to which the plaintiffs claim they were exposed were not used in manufacturing. Lilly also claims the court’s ruling is based on bad math and “inaccurate scientific claims.”

And with that, we bring this week’s feast of compliance news to a close. If you’re wondering if your compliance training curriculum offers the right list of ingredients, the PharmaCertify™ suite of eLearning modules and mobile apps offers comprehensive and up-to-date training on the regulations and policies your learners need to understand as they interact with healthcare professionals.

Have a great week everyone!

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